According to The New York Times, Stanislav Petrov, the man who saved the world, died Sunday at the age of 77.
Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces who became known as "the man who single-handedly saved the world from nuclear war" for his role in the 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident.
On September 26, 1983, just three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more.
Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm, and his decision is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in large-scale nuclear war. Investigation later confirmed that the Soviet satellite warning system had indeed malfunctioned.